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New Inquiry into deaths of newsmen: Scottish widow to give evidence

Press Release by UNA - September 29, 1997

Mrs Wilhelmina Rennie, now of Ramsay, Isle of Man, flies to Australia on Friday October 10 to give evidence on the cover-up of her son's murder by Indonesian forces in Balibo, East Timor. Her only son, Malcolm, was a reporter for Australian Channel 9 TV. Killed with him on October 16 1975, were his cameraman, Brian Peters from Bristol and the 3-man crew from the rival Channel 7.

Minna Rennie will give evidence before the Australia Section of the Indonesian Commision of Jurist (ASICJ), a top human rights body on October 18. Despite conducting a 'preliminary evaluation' last year, the Australian Government has avoided further action such as seeking the prosecution of the killers. The 'evaluation' found them to be from 'an attacking force under Indonesian officers'. Vital witnesses, fearing another cover-up, did not co-operate with the 'evaluation' but will now give their evidence to the ASICJ.

Not until she read a book by Australian ex-diplomat Jim Dunn(*) did Minna discover that the brutal deaths of the 5 TV newsmen were followed by some of the worst mass slaughter since the Second World War. Minna says: 'This cruel cover-up triggered genocide. Australians will help me, once they hear the lies we were told.'

The ASICJ invited Hugh Dowson of the UNA-UK Western Region to give two presentations of evidence before them on October 18.

(*) The Balibo Incident in Perspective, published in October 1995